Kristen Bellamy

Chaos In Koreatown!


I recently went to the Korean Spa for maintenance. Much like the Russian bath houses that use to exist only for men. You know, a place where everyone walks around fat and disgusting but extremely confident. Nothing too fancy, just the basic body scrub and massage. When I say massage, I use that word very lightly. As all of us who have journeyed to Koreatown know, it’s really all about the scrub, honey, and cucumbers they slap all over you. That familiar watered down, baby oil they massage you with after, is just the price you pay.

As I entered my treatment area, which was to be my peaceful, quiet moment of bliss, two of the attendants began arguing in Korean right in front of me. Of course, I had no idea what they were saying but it was pretty intense! Could it be because I forgot to take my necklace off before my scrub and was gesturing and using my best english, with a Korean accent, to try and get the lady to help me? Ridiculous, right? Anyway, the lady gestured back that she couldn’t see, the clasp was too small. She wasn’t able to help me and then pointed to the lady next to her. Within seconds of me asking the lady in the next cubby to help me, everything went left. “Who your lady?” She screamed in her angriest english . When I pointed back at Jenny she frowned up her face and said “me no like her” and turned her back to me!!  All this was crazy & funny at the same time, but it got me thinking. It made me think about race and economics, I don’t know why. Maybe it was because these women were from the same part of the world, now here working in the same place to make a better way for their families. Whatever the reason, it made me think about how competitive we are as women. Our competition, with one another as women, continues to set us apart! It happens in everyone but it seems as though the greatest competition comes from those faces that resemble our own. How could two women who see each other everyday and in such close quarters be so mean to one another? Didn’t they have more in common than not? How could love survive in such a toxic environment? Wasn’t the steam enough to make them light headed and at the very least less confrontational?

Instead of finding the good energy source in ourselves, and others, it seems at times we resent our own mirror image. As women we are the moral compasses for our families and our children’s gateway to the world. We need to teach our children to embrace themselves as well as the world that is around them. See the light in others and bless them with our own light.  It’s funny how a trip to Korea town made me so emotional and insightful. Who knew that a body scrub was all it took for me to find my inner Martin Luther King!

“I have a dream that one day I will go to the Korean spa and not be yelled at, judged, or starred at like my body is a science experiment.” Well, that’s my dream, maybe not yours.

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